Doctor’s orders: Does air pollution cause depression?

I saw someone ask this question the other day online. Does air pollution cause depression? Or if you already have depression, can it make it worse?

Now that February is ending, and the weather is warming up, we will all start coming out of those winter “blahs.” Around March every year I seem to suddenly just start feeling happier and more cheerful. A lot of that can be from the sunshine — Vitamin D can definitely make a difference to my mood. Having longer days and not having to wear lots of layers probably boosts my mood too. No one likes driving to and from work in the dark. But could our winter inversions also be having an impact?

The answer is: It depends. Sorry. I know that isn’t very satisfying. Some studies, including a rather large one in Europe (Zijlema et al. 2016), didn’t find a relationship. Others found a relationship that is quite strong. Why might different groups show different results?

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